Troy Balderson claims he’s fueled by “conservative grit,” but he probably gets better mileage burning through piles of dirty energy money.
The Republican State Senator faces Democrat Danny O’Connor in in the August 7th Special Election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, a closely watched race as we approach midterm elections.
Very little coverage has focused on Balderson’s particularly swampy fundraising reports. Since 2008, $311,257 has made its way from Oil, Gas, Coal, Pipeline, Drilling, and Utility special interests to Balderson’s campaign accounts. That’s about 28% of Balderson’s total fundraising, according to data provided by the Ohio Secretary of State and Federal Elections Commission (data can be found at the end of this post).
By the numbers:
- Balderson raised about $1.1 million in his nine years at the statehouse, not counting contributions from Republican Party organizations and other politicians.
- $223,700 came from energy-related PACs, including the corporate PACS for big energy and utility companies like AEP, BP, Dominion, ExxonMobil, FirstEnergy, and Halliburton.
- $87,557 came from individuals connected to energy companies – owners, executives and employees, and spouses.
As the chair of the Ohio Senate Committee for Energy and Natural Resources, Balderson has been a fine investment for energy companies, a key ally and a reliable vote for all the priorities a dirty energy lobbyist could desire:
- Stifling clean energy by over-regulating wind and solar development and eliminating clean energy incentives
- Deregulating and reducing oversight on fracking and mining concerns
- Keeping the public from learning the chemical makeup of fracking fluids.
- Supporting major natural gas pipeline developments in Eastern Ohio
- Opening up state parks and lakes to drilling and resource extraction.
- Weakening green energy targets for the state
- Encouraging state agencies to stop using the LEED Green building rating system
- Inviting industry lobbyists help write energy bills
Now these energy companies are bankrolling his run for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. Although we only know the details of his contributions through mid-April, at that point Balderson had raked in $88,600 of energy-related money from many of the same donors. Balderson’s Democratic opponent Danny O’Connor recently announced he would refuse all contributions from corporate PACs.
All that remains to be seen is if Balderson can drill his way into the hearts of 12th District voters.
Sean is a resident of the 12th District and can be found on twitter at @SeanForgotAgain
Contribution Data: State
Contribution Data: Federal